Dena Adler ’17 Awarded Switzer Environmental Fellowship

Dena Adler ’17 has been awarded a 2016 Switzer Environmental Fellowship, a program of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. The Switzer Environmental Fellowship is the hallmark of Switzer Foundation programs, supporting 20 environmental leaders pursuing graduate degrees in New England and California in order to advance their skills and develop their expertise to address critical environmental challenges.

Adler is currently pursuing a joint degree in law and a masters in environmental management at Yale University. Her current work focuses on galvanizing new legal opportunities to advance climate change solutions.

Adler has worked on policy issues related to the Clean Power Plan at the Environmental Defense Fund, on legal campaigns to protect national forests and the Arctic at Earthjustice, and with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She aims to develop cross-sectoral climate change policies that integrate differing world views and perspectives.

“Dena is incredibly deserving of this honor. Her work before and during her degree has been exemplary not just in its quality and subject matter but in the way she displays leadership and foresight that is so relevant for policymaking,” said Josh Galperin, Clinical Director of the Environmental Protection Clinic at Yale Law School.

“I am delighted to join the Switzer network and very grateful for the mentorship and opportunities that Yale has provided to advance my work on climate change policy,” said Adler. “With the Switzer fellowship’s support, I am looking forward to continuing my research on to how to advance ambitious climate change action by linking policy solutions across jurisdictional levels from the local to the national and international levels. I am also eager to begin new research on how existing laws and regulations can be updated to better address the realities of climate change in the American west.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Foundation’s Fellowship Program that recognizes the achievements of environmental leaders and their potential to drive positive change. The 20 Fellowships total $300,000 in awards, with each fellow awarded $15,000 for academic expenses.

“We are proud to be selecting our thirtieth cohort of Switzer Fellows this year. The 2016 Fellows embody passion and commitment to positive change in a variety of environmental fields,” said Lissa Widoff, Switzer Foundation Executive Director. “The fellows hail from a variety of schools and professional fields of study which strengthens the Switzer Network of Fellows across many academic institutions. Fellows are supported in their interdisciplinary and collaborative work, positioning them for leadership in the nonprofit, government, business and academic sectors.”

Adler is the second dual degree student at Yale to receive the Switzer Environmental Fellowship. The first student to receive it was Stephanie Safdi ’12.

The Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation is a results-driven family foundation that invests in individuals and organizations that drive positive environmental change. Founded in 1986 the Foundation is a grantmaking organization that mobilizes leaders from diverse disciplines who focus on integrated solutions to environmental problems. Over 15 million dollars has been given through the Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program and related grant programs, the Foundation supports a network of nearly 600 Fellows who are leaders in nonprofit, public policy, business, academic and government sectors working to solve today’s environmental challenges.